Spring’s warm weather is a great time for yard work, swimming and many other outdoor activities. At work or at play, it’s important to keep electrical safety in mind. UniSource Energy Services (UES) offers these tips to help you stay safe around electricity when you’re outdoors.
- Look up and watch out for overhead power lines and other electrical equipment. Keep this in mind before you climb a ladder or use a pool-cleaning tool.
- Keep all parts of your body, materials and tools at least 15 feet away from any overhead power lines or other electrical equipment. If you plan to get any closer, state law requires you to make arrangements with UES that will allow your work to proceed safely. Keep this in mind when installing or repairing an antenna or satellite dish or preparing your evaporative cooler for summer use. Never climb power poles or other electrical equipment.
- Never fly kites or model airplanes near power lines. If a kite does get tangled with overhead lines, don’t try to get it down yourself by climbing electrical equipment or by pulling on the string, as a kite string can conduct electricity. Please do not try to retrieve kites, balls or other toys that make their way into an electrical substation. Instead, call UES for assistance.
- Before you trim tree limbs and shrubs, watch out for power lines that could be hidden by foliage. Contact UES’s Customer Care line at 877-UES-4YOU (877-837-4968) if you have questions or concerns about tree limbs growing into or around overhead power lines on your property. Watch for tree limbs that could damage electrical equipment when trimmed.
- Customers who wish to clear tree limbs or other foliage away from an electric service line must first call UES’s Customer Care line to ask that their power be turned off for the duration of their work. Customers are responsible for keeping foliage at least 15 feet away from the service lines that connect their homes and businesses to UES’s electrical distribution system. There is no cost for this temporary suspension of electric service.
- Inspect power tools, electric lawn mowers, electric blowers and other equipment for frayed power cords, broken plugs and weathered or damaged housings before every use. Don’t use damaged equipment until it has been repaired properly. Keep tools unplugged and stored in dry areas when they are not in use. Always use an insulated extension cord designed for outdoor use with the correct power rating for each piece of equipment.
- Call before you dig. Whether you’re a homeowner landscaping your yard or a professional contractor digging utility trenches, remember to call 811 or Arizona Blue Stake at 1-800-STAKE-IT (1-800-782-5348) at least two working days before you dig. This free service – which is required by state law – can help you to avoid making contact with underground power lines.
- Keep vegetation and permanent structures away from the large, green ground-level boxes that house components of UES’s underground electrical system. UES workers may need to access the underground lines and equipment near these boxes during power outages and for routine maintenance. Children should be taught to never sit on or play around these electrical structures.
- Always keep power cords and electrical equipment away from water, wet grass or other wet areas. Keep this in mind when using electric-powered mowers or other lawn equipment.
- Treat all electric lines with caution and respect. Even low-voltage electric lines and cords can be hazardous if damaged or improperly handled. And if you EVER see a downed power line, call 911 immediately; don’t get near it.
UES, a subsidiary of UniSource Energy Corporation (NYSE: UNS), provides natural gas and electric service to about 236,000 customers across Arizona. For more information about UES, visit uesaz.com. For more information about UniSource Energy, visit uns.com.
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